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Naked Lunch (1991)

 -  Drama  -  24 April 1992 (UK)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 28,665 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 139 user | 101 critic | 16 from Metacritic.com

After developing an addiction to the substance he uses to kill bugs, an exterminator accidentally murders his wife and becomes involved in a secret government plot being orchestrated by giant bugs in a port town in North Africa.

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Title: Naked Lunch (1991)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Monique Mercure ...
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Robert A. Silverman ...
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Kiki (as Joseph Scorsiani)
Peter Boretski ...
Creature Voices / Exterminator #2
Yuval Daniel ...
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Sean McCann ...
Howard Jerome ...
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Storyline

Not an adaptation of beat writer William S. Burrough's novel but a mix of biography and an interpretation of his drug- induced writing processes combined with elements of his work in this paranoid fantasy about Bill Lee, a writer who accidentally shoots his wife, whose typewriter transforms into a cockroach and who becomes involved in a mysterious plot in North African port called Interzone. Wonderfully bizarre, not unlike Burrough's books. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The book was banned. The film should never have been made. Too late. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for heavy drug content, bizarre eroticism, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

24 April 1992 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$2,541,541 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to David Cronenberg's DVD commentary, the main credits sequence is a direct homage to visual designer Saul Bass. The film takes place in the 1950s, when Bass was active as both a graphic designer and the director of main credits sequences for other people's movies. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bill Lee: Exterminator.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Creeping Terror (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Ballad
Composed by Ornette Coleman
Performed by The Ornette Coleman Trio
See more »

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User Reviews

Bill & Dave connect on the subject of meat
22 July 2000 | by (British Columbia, Canada) – See all my reviews



Mmmmm.... mugwump jizz

Themes: Substance addiction and how physically self-conscious it makes our protagonist feel, the creativity forced by imprisonment (a direct reference to real-life events between Burroughs, his wife, his subsequent incarceration and his heroin/acid issues), the sense of betrayal as more surprise than malice and of course the inevitable interface between Dave and Bill at the pelvic level.

The effects work is pre render-mation latex and sufficiently restrained to allow your imagination to back-fill the appropriate horror/fascination/titillation for the moment. Don't try to figure out which you =should= feel or to mentally sort it out, that'd rob you of the fun; it's the psychic and emotional disarray that makes it so compelling.

Peter Weller is suitably deadpan, allowing only a sparkle of the playful poet to shine through from time to time (the story about the Duke du Vantra's Espano-Suiza made me howl); he must have spent a few =fun= hours with Burroughs himself to get the role down.

If you liked Cronenburg's smarter stuff, such as Dead Ringers, you'll love this. If you've read Kerouac, Ginsberg or Burroughs in particular, I promise you'll love it. If you're not into exploratory literature, have issues with distasteful realities of poverty or have a personal affection for the quality works of Stallone, Willis and Schwarzenegger - you'll hate it.

It made a very strong impression on me; the day after I saw the opening night of Naked Lunch (long before the "internet"), I established and sysoped a BBS that was the primary alternative discussion forum for onliners in Edmonton, Alberta for several years. It's name? The Interzone.

The movie is fascinating, odd, reveals more on second viewing, and is faithful neither to Cronenburg nor Burroughs but an excellent mix of elements of both.

It has a great beat, easy to dance to... I give it an 89, Dick.

Either way, you won't look at a typewriter the same way ever again.


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